Cruising is a fun way to take a vacation and unplug from the world. As of this post, I’ve taken five cruises and I look forward to many more. Here are my top 10 things you should pack for your next cruise that you might not think would be useful for your trip.
Item 1. Extra Swimsuit
I don’t know about you, but I hate putting on a wet swimsuit. It’s cold and uncomfortable. Packing a second swimsuit helps prevent that if you decide to hit the pool up more than once in a day. You can get some geeky ones over on SuperHeroStuff.com.
Item 2. Water Shoes
Water shoes are my number one thing I tell new cruisers to take with them. Beaches can be rocky and pool decks can be hot. Wear something that can go in the water with you so you don’t scorch your feet or get cut while in the water. I bought a great pair on Amazon that feels like sneakers and dries really fast. You can even wear them around the cruise ship as normal footwear.
Item 3. Nightlight
If you are in an inside stateroom, you will want to pack some kind of light to lead your way to the bathroom or at least get you to the light switch when you wake up in the morning. This will prevent many a stubbed toe on vacation. Get one that doubles as an alarm clock because a lot of staterooms do not have them. Mini flashlights work as well for a little nighttime light.
Item 4. Mini Medicine Cabinet
Without fail, anytime I go on a vacation I end up needing medicine of some sort. Hit up your drug store travel section or Dollar Store for some medicine that covers the basics like headaches, upset stomach, allergy/colds, heartburn, band-aids, and I always throw something in for earaches and urinary tract infections just to be safe. And if you get seasick or think you might, take some ginger pills (found at most health food stores).
Item 5. Wipe Off Board With Marker
This is great for leaving notes to your stateroom attendant or the other people in your room. My family uses this as a check-in system for our son. When he comes back to the room, he leaves us a note as to where he is going next and what time he will be back. We, in turn, leave notes for him telling him where to meet us and at what time.
Item 6. Light Card
Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean staterooms operate on a “light card” being put into a slot to turn on the electricity to the stateroom. No card in the slot, no charging your phone, no AC, no lights when you walk in. Take an old gift card or an expired credit card and slip it in that slot when you leave the room to help keep your stuff charging and your room nice and cool.
Item 7. Magnetic Hooks
I’m not sure about other cruise lines, but Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line both have metal walls, doors, and ceilings. Take some metal hooks to hang things like your lanyard, jackets, and other items to keep them off the desk or floor. You can also take some magnetic clips to keep papers sorted. If you are worried about the magnets scratching up the walls, put some packing tape on the back to prevent that.
Item 8. Air Freshener
If you will be sharing an itty bitty space with other people, air freshener for the bathroom is one of those things no one talks about but you will need. Poo-Pourri spray is a popular one and I’ve heard it works wonders.
Item 9. USB Hub
Surge protectors are generally not allowed on cruise ships and some power strips will also get confiscated. Play it safe and take a USB hub that lets you plug multiple USB devices in at once and only take up one power outlet. I highly recommend Anker. I’ve used mine on several cruises and it works great.
Item 10. Clothespins
If you get a room with a view but don’t want mother nature to wake you up, get some clothespins to keep the curtains shut. They are also great for hanging your swimsuit up if your bathroom has a clothesline in it. You could also get towel clips and let them serve double duty.
Wait. What? That’s right. Rubber Ducks. Not for bathtime, but for hiding. The idea is you hide a duck with a tag with your name and hometown and the person who finds it can hide the duck again or keep it for themselves. There are rules to the game so check out Cruising Ducks Facebook group for more information.
Folder for Papers
You will accumulate a lot of papers on a cruise (cruise planners, coupons, itinerary tickets, etc). Take a folder to keep them organized and in one place for you to grab when you need them. Take a second one for your important documents if you are not traveling with a passport.
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